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Poll shows Americans sharply divided on gay rights

Poll shows Americans sharply divided on gay rights

Americans' views are split when it comes to gay rights: Most are against same-sex marriage but are less likely to oppose civil unions, according to a new USA Today/ CNN/Gallup poll. A majority (53%) oppose a law that "would allow homosexual couples to legally get married," while 24% favor it. But significantly fewer (41%) oppose civil unions, giving homosexual couples "some of the legal rights of married couples," according to the findings by USA Today. Cathy Renna, spokeswoman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, told USA Today that "marriage" sounds religious while "civil unions" does not. "Gay and lesbian couples need to tell why it's important for us to have all the legal rights and protections of civil marriage," she said. But sociologist Glenn Stanton, senior analyst for marriage and sexuality for the conservative group Focus on the Family, says equating civil unions or gay marriages with traditional heterosexual marriages "gives the impression that all family configurations are equally good for people. They're not.... This isn't just about the nice lesbian couple next door getting a fair shake. It's about radically transforming our understanding of family and marriage. And it's too damaging." Still, while gay couples' rights are hotly debated in the courts, the media, and election campaigns, it's not a decisive issue for everyone: One in four people surveyed said they had no opinion on gay marriage (23%) or civil unions (25%). The poll also found that a backlash has grown against legalizing homosexual relations between consenting adults. The backlash was first noted this summer after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Texas's sodomy law. The new poll finds the number of those who say gay sex should not be legal (49%) is statistically even with those who say it should be legal (46%). The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Still, opposition is higher than last July (46%). Not since 1988, the height of the AIDS crisis, have so many opposed legalizing gay behavior (57%).

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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